Gympie parents pay less for school
PARENTS in Gympie can expect to pay 22% less than their metropolitan counterparts for all education systems, new research from the Australian Scholarships Group says.
The study revealed metropolitan families across Australia will be the hardest hit financially with the cost of education expected to increase significantly over the next five years.
ASG, a not-for-profit education benefits provider, surveyed more than 12,000 of its members on the total cost of education for children in metropolitan centres and regional areas, which included education-related expenses such as school fees, extra-curricular activities, travel, clothing, school necessities and computers.
ASG's general manager, development Frida Kordovoulos said the research showed parents of children in regional areas benefit significantly compared to parents in metropolitan centres - whether families choose a government, systemic or private education system.
However, Ms Kordovoulos warned that no school would be immune to the increasing education costs anticipated across Australia.
"The rising costs associated with the price of education are expected to affect every child, every parent and every school no matter where you live," said Ms Kordovoulos.
"This could prove increasingly challenging for families already feeling the pinch in today's tough economic environment."
"Parents often overlook the total cost of education when budgeting as they tend to focus mainly on the annual school fees. However, it's the many hidden costs such as clothing, travel, books, sporting and musical equipment, computer and internet access, and the various extracurricular costs related to camps, outings, private tuition and classes that are often not accounted for."
The survey revealed that regional parents who choose government schooling for a child born in 2012 can expect to pay up to $51,644 - 22% less than their metropolitan counterparts, depending on the state in which families reside.
The gap between regional and metropolitan areas widens when parents opt for systemic and private education systems.
For a child born in 2012 (including pre-school and Prep):
Regional Australia government - up to $51,644, systemic (Catholic) - up to $158,170, private - up to $284,099
Metropolitan Australia government - up to $65,829, systemic (Catholic) - up to $212,920, private - up to $428,723
Ms Kordovolous said families not prepared for the future could find the costs of education are a shock to the family budget.
"We encourage parents to start saving for education, and it doesn't need to be arduous. The Australian Scholarships Group recommend that for as little as $11 a week - the cost of three coffees - that parents can benefit from a savings program."
The gap between regional and metropolitan areas widens when parents opt for systemic and private education systems:
Schooling costs for child born in 2012:
Regional Australia (14 year education: includes pre-school and prep)
- Government - up to $51,644
- Systemic (Catholic) - up to $158,170
- Private - up to $284,099
- Schooling costs for child born in 2012: Metropolitan Australia (14 year education: includes pre-school and prep)
- Government - up to $65,829
- Systemic (Catholic) - up to $212,920
- Private - up to $428,723